I know I haven’t posted here in a while… between being generally busy and in too much Shark induced agony I just haven’t had it in me. However, here we are with 11 games to go and the Sharks look like they have possibly pulled it together just in time, so its time for an intrepid post.
First thoughts: adding several new players right at the trade deadline isn’t necessarily the best thing to do – it takes time for people to fit in to the system and become comfortable with their teammates / linemates / etc. Have the Sharks pulled together just in time? I hope so. These last two games have given me some hope – even though both games went to OT, the Sharks ‘looked good’ throughout the game. There were not any extended periods of time in which they struggled to clear the defensive zone (although this aspect of their game still makes me nervous). They generated lots of good chances on ‘O’fence (that’s Canadian for offense), and for the most part they were really solid on D.
Second thoughts: Datsyuk’s goal last night was just another example of why I think he’s the best all around player in hockey. There was exactly on place to put that puck to score, and he found it. Havlat’s return has been amazing – 2 goals including the OT game winner last night, some deft stick handling, and generally good impact – I didn’t expect this much from him – but it sure has been a lift for the Sharks.
Final thoughts: Ducks Monday, Kings Tuesday – and why I’m saying we’re ‘starting the playoffs early’ – these are literally must win games, and the Sharks have really struggled within the division this year… but a couple more wins and we might end up with some breathing room… time will tell.